At least 120 cats rescued from ‘hellish jail’ outside Bangkok

BANGKOK (CNA) – A group of volunteers have spent days rescuing at least 120 cats locked up in three townhouses outside Bangkok, where the animals were kept in dark rooms and small, filthy cages with hardly any food or water.

The buildings are located near one another in Pathum Thani province, north of Bangkok. Rescuers also found a number of pregnant cats, kittens and remains of dead felines in cages.

According to Saengduean ‘Lek’ Chailert, an animal welfare supporter who coordinated the rescue, the animals brought out by the volunteers were famished, dehydrated and frightened.

Currently, they are receiving medical care before a transfer to the Save Elephant Foundation – an animal sanctuary and rescue centre in Chiang Mai.

“The animals were howling,” she told CNA about the rescue at one of the buildings, where volunteers were not able to enter initially.

“They reached inside with small bags of food that had been cut open but dropped one by accident. The cats devoured the bag whole because of the smell. They chewed it and ate it all. The volunteers tried to get inside to help but couldn’t make it in time. The cats were starving.”

Following a complaint about animal cruelty, volunteers from animal rights groups travelled to Pathum Thani for a rescue operation last week. However, according to Lek, the owner of two of the buildings did not allow the volunteers to enter.

This led to the involvement of municipal officers, police and officials from the Livestock Development Department, which is responsible for enforcing the Cruelty Prevention and Welfare of Animal Act (2014).

Several cats locked up in cages in a townhouse in Bangkok. PHOTO: CNA